Tourism organizations urge the Caribbean to prepare for hurricane season
The Caribbean Tourism Organization ( CTO ) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association ( CHTA ) have urged the tourism sector to prepare for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to November 30, and the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) predicts activity to be “above average” this year.
Between 14 and 21 named storms are forecast, with six to 10 likely to become hurricanes, and three to six forecast as major hurricanes, Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Underlining the importance of tourism to the region’s socio-economic development, CTO and CHTA will launch separate and joint initiatives to raise awareness across the sector in the coming weeks to bolster preparations.
Acting CTO General Secretary Neil Walters said that thorough planning and information gathering by all stakeholders is critical, noting that this is key to the sector’s continued resilience, especially during the upcoming season.
“CTO has always provided critical tools aimed at mitigating disasters, such as the Multi-Hazard Risk Management Guide that is available to planners through the Caribbean Tourism Institute’s online tourism training center,” he said.
“The importance of preparation cannot be reiterated enough. It has proven to be one of the key factors enabling the sector to achieve a quick and strong recovery after setbacks,” he added.
The guide addresses all phases of the disaster management cycle by disseminating best practices in crisis communication and social media, and both tourism agencies will continue these awareness initiatives in the coming weeks.
Vanessa Ledesma, Interim Executive Director and CEO of CHTA, reiterated the value of planning and preparation.
“We will continue to provide extensive insurance education, best practices for businesses, communication strategies, cancellation practices, and regional response mechanisms to ensure that stakeholders are able to overcome any challenges associated with this year’s season,” he said.
Both the CTO and CHTA believe that high levels of preparedness have enabled Caribbean destinations to recover from past natural disasters quickly.
The organizations noted that most of the Caribbean are not affected by a major hurricane in any given year, citing the region’s vast geography. However, despite the relative safety of the area for summer and fall travel, the region takes planning and preparation very seriously.
CTO and CHTA attribute that readiness to the Caribbean’s ability to recover from a crisis situation faster than most areas of the world.
As part of their preparatory activities, the two organizations will hold a two-part training session for tourism managers from the public and private sectors on Friday, June 10 and Thursday, June 30. Registration details will be announced shortly.